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San Francisco’s Low Jobs to Home Building Ratio in 2016

We’re just ending 2017, but a recent report studying 2016 may also bode not so well for us San Franciscans this year. SFcurbed.com did an examination of the ratio between new jobs created in 2016 as compared to new homes built in the same period.

The resulting ratio is shockingly low: 1 new home for every 10.4 new jobs. The article drew on stats from the SF Planning Department and a census report, determining that 27,048 new jobs were created in SF in 2016 and 2,600 new homes were built that year.

This also partly sheds light on why there’s a chronic housing inventory shortage in the city, which is monstrously driving up the cost of owning a home here.

The report also stated that total wages in the city jumped up 6% in 2016 to $71.5 billion total. That’s a median wage of $101,640. Compare that to the median wage of $83,570 in 2011.

Happy Holidays in San Francisco – Charming, Uplifting, Inspiring

Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to all my blog readers who come in occasionally or often to check out the interesting, engaging and informative in our city’s real estate and cultural world. I wish you all a lovely day today or whichever day your special holiday falls on.

San Francisco is, of course, is alive with special activities on December 25th as hundreds of thousands of us are exchanging gifts, attending church or other spiritual institutions, and going out for sidewalk walks or going to a later dinner at a favored restaurant that is open today.

Some activities for Christmas Day:

  • A scuba diving Santa Claus at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.
  • See the Christmas tree at Union Square with 33,000 LED lights, and a 25-foot glowing menorah.
  • Go to a neighboring neighborhood and check out how they’re celebrating the holiday spirit.
  • Winter Walk SF is a pop-up plaza near Union Square.

Even with Gobs of Cash It’s Hard to Buy an SF Home

Let’s say you had a truckload of cash and you drove into San Francisco looking to buy an upscale home. Despite all that cash you might not be able to get one. You’ll park your truck at the curb and wait for the next available house to come up that you really like. What’s happening? The ever shrinking inventory. Not only in SF, but around the Bay Area.

Trulia’s chief economist, Ralph McLaughlin, says in a bizjournals.com interview, “The inventory situation has become so dire in the Bay Area that even cash buyers are likely to have trouble finding homes. It’s tough to buy what’s not there, even if you’ve got the cash.”

Trulia just released a report called Inventory and Price Watch: The Mansions Go Mission in which a premium home resides in the top third of the real estate market price range. For San Francisco that comes in at $2 million and higher, depending on which neighborhood you’re looking in.

Our San Francisco stock of higher-up homes is down by a pretty hefty 23% in 2017 as compared to 2016. The national average for inventory availability dropping is 6%—so we’re way beyond that. McLaughlin says he’s seen inventory in 2017 drop 33% this year.

Conversation Worthy Demographics Report on San Franciscans

Paragon Real Estate Group has just put out a report that is chock full of very interesting demo-facts on us San Franciscans. The report is titled What You Do Not Know About San Francisco, and rather than looking at homes as real estate papers usually do, this one examins the city’s people.

The reports subtitle is: Who We Are; Where We Come From; What We Believe;

How We Live; What We Do; Money Earned & Money Spent

So, what do we find among the charts and graphs? Well, first is the ethnicity/race/ancestry pie chart. It shows Non-Hispanic Caucasian as 41.2% while Hispanic/Latino are 15.3%, Asian ancestry is 33.5% and African American is 5.3% with a final, interesting percentage of mixed race at 4.6%. Among the Caucasian segment, the Irish comprise 8%, followed by German at 7.7%. For the Asian segment, 21.4% are Chinese followed by 4.3% Filipino. For the Hispanic group, 7.8% are Mexican, and 5% Central American.

More to come later…

San Francisco Animal Shelter Security Robot Taken to Task By the City

Artificial intelligence (AI) is encroaching upon the city slow by slow in the form of robots being adopted by businesses for various purposes. They’re delivering food and goods along our sidewalks, and there are security robots in black and white also doing the walk or roll on our sidewalks. SF residents are not too happy about this.

The city Supervisors are finally getting involved in the rules of robot limitations in our human and ecological world of San Francisco, and just recently cracked down on the robot used by the SF SPCA for patrolling and securing its outer premises.

Last month the SF SPCA in the Mission District deployed a Knightscope robot in its parking lot and sidewalk environs of its buildings, which occupy a whole block at Florida and 16th Streets. The SPCA called their robot K9, but the city didn’t think that was so cute, saying they would fine the nonprofit $1,000 if it didn’t keep K9 off the sidewalks. The fine is for operating in the public right-of-way without a permit.

The SF SPCA brought the robot on board to deter crime, car break-ins and needle usage that they associated with a nearby tent camp of homeless people. In the month of service since the robot, the homeless on the SPCA sidewalk has shrunk and the car crimes have diminished. SPCA officials don’t conclude there is a correlation between the robot and the decreases.

Rare Sightings: Condos in San Francisco Under $1 Million

Tallying up all the condos in San Francisco, with their exploding build outs over the past couple of years, there’s a total of 2,500 condos in our fair city. And almost all of those go for over $1 million and many go for multiple millions. The reason? Enormous, gob smacking demand. There are currently around 743 condos unsold in the city, but that is down 12.8 percent from last year – so fewer choices this year. And the current inventory of housing—with a balanced market of six months duration—is sitting at 3.2 months.

The median price for a condo is now $1,129,500, 4.6% over last year’s median—with the average condo price going over $1 M since mid 2015.

Yet, with all this demand and tighter inventory, the under $1 M condo is not yet an extinct species. You can find great deals in neighborhoods like Hunters Point and Mid-Market, with some condos starting down at $650,000.

Check out bizjournals.com slide show on under $1 M SF condos by clicking here.

Makeover on Market Street Meeting Resistance from Merchants

Market Street is one of the central arteries of San Francisco, and has been featured in novels, movies, short stories, articles and paintings. It’s famous, beloved and cursed. However, SF planners are seriously going down the road of outlawing noncommercial traffic on this road. Yes, a ban on cars and personal trucks is on the move for sections of Market Street – making this vehicle rich street more a mecca for pedestrians and bike riders.

However, the merchants of Market are balking at the new plan, pointing out that their unloading of goods would be make more difficult without street access.

Jim Lazarus, public policy senior vice president at the SF Chamber of Commerce, told the Examiner ““Some [businesses] don’t have any real access except on Market Street. You’re always worried until you see the final product.”

The plan was debuted back in August, though it’s been in the works for 8 years, and will cost $604 million. It would affect Lyft and Uber cars on certain stretches of Market and private vehicles would be banned on longer reaches of the street, making way for more bike lanes and expanding sidewalks.

Long-Term Trends in San Francisco Real Estate

The great advantage of reviewing annual data is how often the market trend lines clarify into a straightforward dynamic, instead of the constant up and down fluctuations often seen in monthly or quarterly data charts. (Monthly data is constantly being abused by the media, when proper context is not given.) It is similar to standing back to look at a broad view of terrain as opposed to focusing on the one small piece that is right in front of your shoe.

Among other advantages, annual trend lines track greater amounts of data, which usually adds to reliability, and also avoid the fluctuating effects of seasonality on real estate markets. However, we also have dozens of charts that look at monthly and quarterly data, sometimes specifically to illustrate seasonality, but those analyses are in other reports.

Median Price Changes
A Selection of Angles & Presentations

We have many more annual appreciation charts on individual San Francisco neighborhoods and Bay Area cities, which can be found here: Paragon Market Statistics & Analysis

S&P Case-Shiller Bay Area Home Price Index Trends

Case-Shiller does not use median prices to determine appreciation, but instead uses its own proprietary algorithm. The numbers on Case-Shiller charts refer to home prices when compared to a January 2000 home price of 100. Thus if at some point after 2000, the chart number is 150, that signifies 50% home price appreciation since January 2000. Case-Shiller uses a 5-county metro area in its San Francisco analyses. Needless to say, this includes a huge variety of different housing markets.

We probably have 10 charts illustrating Case-Shiller data. This one below breaks out appreciation and depreciation trends by price segment, dividing the market into thirds by number of sales. The reason why this is particularly important recently is that during the subprime bubble and the resulting crash, different price segments had bubbles, crashes and recoveries of hugely different magnitudes, mostly depending on how they were affected by subprime financing, foreclosures and distressed property sales.

Our full report: S&P Case-Shiller Index for SF Metro Area

 Inventory & Sales Trends

Housing Affordability Trends

Our full report: Bay Area Housing Affordability

 Luxury Home Market Sales Trends

Our full report is here: San Francisco Luxury Home Market Report

 Mortgage Interest Rate Trends

Annual General Market Dynamics Trends

Looking at annual trends of a variety major real estate market measures, one is struck by how the different analyses reflect virtually the exact same market dynamics over the past 6 or 7 years, heating up as the market came out of the recession, and then cooling or plateauing in 2016 after market heat peaked in 2015. When multiple statistics line up like this, the data is considered much more meaningful and reliable. However, remember that the San Francisco and Bay Area markets are made up of many distinct segments, and it’s not unusual for the trends in specific segments (prices, locations, property types) to, at times, go in different directions at varying speeds.

Depending on the statistic, a trend line moving up might signify either a market heating up or one cooling down, and vice versa.

Residential Multi-Unit Median Price Trends

Our complete report: San Francisco Bay Area Apartment Building Report

Other Economic or Demographic Trends
Selected Factors behind the Real Estate Market

Annual Sales Volume Trends

Much more information can be found on our main reports page:

Paragon Market Statistics & Analysis

Using, Understanding and Evaluating Real Estate Statistics

It is impossible to know how median and average value statistics apply to any particular home without a specific comparative market analysis, which we are happy to provide upon request.

These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and are subject to revision. It is not our intent to convince you of a particular position, but to attempt to provide straightforward data and analysis, so you can make your own informed decisions. Median and average statistics are enormous generalities: There are hundreds of different markets in San Francisco and the Bay Area, each with its own unique dynamics. Median prices and average dollar per square foot values can be and often are affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value. Longer term trends are much more meaningful than short-term.

© 2017 Paragon Real Estate Group


Toughest Restaurants to Walk Into In San Francisco

It is something of a major perk to declare one has a reservation at a certain hot restaurant which is known to be impossible to get snag a reservation in. But then there are the restaurants where you have to wait 1.5-2 hours at the door (if you can get that, or be turned away) to get a table, and these eateries also reflect a food excellence reputation that is stratospherically hot in our city.

Recently, The Business Times and Yelp came together to determine which SF restaurants are literally the hardest to walk into. All the restaurants in this ten-toughest list do have Yelp reservation systems and you can book online, but many people bravely attempt the walk-in.

One interesting fact that came out of this research is that many of these toughest walk-in eateries are Mexican or Central American. Whereas, for the most expensive restaurants in the city revealed in earlier research, the mix was Asian and Asian fusion.

Here are some of the toughest restaurants to get into in the city:

Loló in the Mission

Topisueno in SoMa

Liholiho Yacht Club in Lower Nob Hill

DOSA on Fillmore at Lower Pac Heights

See the full article and slide show by clicking here.

Changing Dynamics in California Migration Trends

We just crunched the numbers on a recent U.S. census report tracking population migration to and from California in 2016, and illustrated them in the chart above. Though this chart refers specifically to state data, the trends illustrated almost certainly apply to the Bay Area to a large extent as well. The census report highlights two issues: 1) More CA residents are moving out to other states than residents of other states are moving into California, and 2) Foreign immigration into California has more than made up this deficit, to continue an overall increase in the population.

The chart is based on 2016 data, and there are now two big wild cards in play which may significantly affect these migration trends.

Firstly, the U.S. government in power now has radically different philosophies and policies regarding foreign immigration than previous administrations, which may dramatically curtail foreign influx numbers into California and the Bay Area in 2017 and subsequent years.

Secondly, changes to the tax code currently contemplated by the Republican dominated congress – the deductibility of mortgage interest costs and local/state taxes in particular – would not only make living in the Bay Area, which already has either the highest or close to highest cost of living in the country (especially vis a vis housing costs), more expensive for many residents, but also substantially increase the difference in living costs between it and other parts of the country. Depending on what legislation is finally put into place, this could exacerbate the outflow of companies (concerned, among other reasons, about competing for employees) and residents to lower-cost states. As an example, Texas has been actively trying to recruit CA companies to relocate for years, and often crows about its success in doing so. The Texas pitch revolves around its much lower housing costs and the absence of state income taxes – the proposed changes to federal income tax law would only widen the already wide cost-of-living differential between the two states as they compete for businesses.

The Bay Area has competed, for years extremely successfully, on the basis of quality of living and its situation as the nexus of high-tech, bio-tech and fin-tech industry and innovation. However, other metro areas, such as Austin, are increasingly attempting to compete on these bases as well.

[Resident outflow from California can be broken into 2 main groups: Those relocating for jobs in lower cost states, and those moving subsequent to retirement, which often involves cashing out of a higher-cost housing market to maximize proceeds and retirement income in lower-cost, lower-tax regions. Looking at the chart above, as pertaining to the outward migration of CA residents, Texas, Washington and to a lesser degree, Oregon and Colorado dominate for the first group, and Arizona, Nevada, Florida and Oregon probably dominate as locations for retiree relocation. It’s interesting to note that 5 of these states also top the list for states whose residents relocate to California, though in lesser numbers.]

The net result could be an reduced inflow of new foreign residents and residents relocating from other states, coupled with an increased outflow of existing residents – especially the more affluent residents most affected by proposed tax law changes – which together might have substantial ramifications for state and local economies and housing markets. It is unknown at this point what scale of change may occur and how significant the ramifications might be – we honestly do not know how this will all play out. However, there have been a number of governors from high-immigration/high-cost-of-living (blue) states, which levy state income taxes, voicing major concerns regarding possibly severe economic effects. Of course, their desire to alter proposed changes to tax law before they come into effect is certainly a motivation in these statements.

The chart at the top of this article has been posted to our new analysis on San Francisco and Bay Area demographic trends: Paragon Demographics Report

All our reports and articles can be found here: Paragon Market Reports

The data herein is from a wide variety of third party sources deemed reliable – much of it from national, state and local government data sources – but it may contain errors, and is subject to revision.

© 2017 Paragon Real Estate Group

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